This is the first part in a series about teaching through the use of scrapbooking.
Literacy is a key to better jobs and stable home life for both adults and children. Teaching an adult or child how to write sometimes requires teachers willing to use creativity in the classroom. One possible learning tool is scrapbooking or digital scrapbooking.
Use of Scrapbooking in Elementary Education Classes
As teachers develop lesson plans for elementary education classes, scrapbooking can be a natural part of the activities. Scrapbooking is a tactile way of teaching many different subjects. As the child labels the pictures added to the scrapbook, he or she learns grammar and vocabulary. Teachers may provide the needed photos from a classroom camera or allow students to bring copies of digital photographs or digital media from home for use in the scrapbooking activities. In addition, teachers may supply magazines and other sources of pictures for scrapbooking or a bank of digital photographs for use with digital scrapbooking.
Use of Scrapbooking in Adult Education
With adults, the students are more likely to have access to their own photographs, however the instructor may still need to provide some stock photos for the adults to use. With both adults as well as children, it is good to provide access to a color copier or scanner in case the scrapbooking student is afraid of ruining the original object or wants to use it in a digital scrapbook.
The scrapbook may be used to tell a story.
Everyone has a story to tell. The story may be of a relative that persevered through hard times. The items that are added to the collection can be used to formulate and tell that story. As the story is told both with pictures and with words, students continue to work on their literacy skills for the class.
Preserving family heirlooms
Many two dimensional items may be kept in a scrapbook. These could include special objects such as birth certificates, baby photos, tickets to a special performance or a newspaper clipping. In addition to the items placed on the pages, teachers should encourage the student to use written words to tell why this item is important to the family.
A family tree gives students a sense of belonging. For elementary students, the family tree can begin with the student and have branches for parents, grandparents, as well as favorite aunts and uncles. A small bit can be written to describe why each person is important to the child. Adults may have a more complex tree that not only includes generation past but also includes offspring. Adults may use their family tree to describe relationships that are broken and find the exercise quite freeing as they also learn how to write and to express themselves.
The scrapbook can also be used to tell a family history. Many new immigrants may need to tell the story of how parents or grandparents left a home country and came to a new location with hopes and dreams for their family. The document might include some of the student's favorite things from their old country (or those of a parent or grandparent if the student was born in the new country). If students have lived in a number of places during their lifetime, the teacher may help them to locate photographs that are meaningful for their past life experiences give students the opportunity to write about these documents as a part of the lesson plan.
The opportunities for using scrapbooking in teaching both adults and children are endless. In addition to teaching the student how to read and write, these exercises can be used many other disciplines. Regardless of the subject being taught, teachers that use creative ideas such as scrapbooking to teach other how to read are the teachers that are remembered for a lifetime.
Are you a teacher using scrapbooking in the classroom? Are you homeschooling and using scrapbooking as a tool for teaching? Are you a student who used scrapbooking either in class or as school assignments? Share with us by posting a comment below.